Selling Something Which Is Free

With Autodesk offering their free Inventor LT only in the US and Canada, some enterprising people have now started selling Inventor LT for $199.

I am not quite sure why Inventor is restricted to US and Canada in the first place. Scott Sheppard tried to explain to a reader who reminded him that the world was not limited to USA and Canada.

Scott replied, “Yes the world is not limited to the US and Canada. Due to overwhelmingly high initial customer demand for the Autodesk Inventor LT Technology Preview, we are currently focusing on the high volume of customer feedback we have received so far and have decided to make the Autodesk Inventor LT Technology Preview available for download only in the United States and Canada at this time. A diversity of feedback from around the world is important to us, and we will extend availability to more countries in the future.

I wonder who came up with that excuse. As a software vendor I would love all the feedback I can get and from wherever I can get it. A customer’s feedback is not a large box that I need to make place for in my office, as they are making it seem to be. It is just a bunch of bytes.

Autodesk controls your ability to download based on your IP address. So they already which country you belong to. If they want to “focus” on the feedback from the US, then look only at the feedback from the US. It’s that simple.

Software vendors, me including, do not act on each and every feedback we receive. But all feedback is accepted and added to a heap, which gets sorted by priority and then acted upon. But not allowing someone to use software for the fear of not being able to do justice to his feedback is stretching it a bit too far.

  • Shaan

    Deelip,

    The simple non excuse answer is lawyers and laws can cause this type of restriction on public pre-release software and technology.

    Fortunatly we also have Autodesk MyFeedback http://myfeedback.autodesk.com which allows almost all countries participation in beta software just not Inventor LT at the moment. You dont even need to be a current subscription or customer to provide feedback or beta test unlike some other in the industry limiting participation. Feedback on products is critical as we ultimatly want to make sure the products are driven by the very customers that will use them or purchase them.

    Cheers,
    Shaan
    http://autodesk.blogs.com/between_the_lines/

  • Shaan

    Deelip,The simple non excuse answer is lawyers and laws can cause this type of restriction on public pre-release software and technology. Fortunatly we also have Autodesk MyFeedback http://myfeedback.autodesk.com which allows almost all countries participation in beta software just not Inventor LT at the moment. You dont even need to be a current subscription or customer to provide feedback or beta test unlike some other in the industry limiting participation. Feedback on products is critical as we ultimatly want to make sure the products are driven by the very customers that will use them or purchase them.Cheers,Shaanhttp://autodesk.blogs.com/between_the_lines/

  • ralphg

    >Fortunatly we also have Autodesk >MyFeedback http://
    >myfeedback.autodesk.com which >allows almost all countries >participation in beta

    Or not.

    I signed up to be a beta tester, and did not get a response, not even a “No thanks.” Must be the overwhelming response from Canada…

    Honestly, I think all that feedback stuff is mostly BS, and tends to get ignored. Certainly, as an editor, I get tired of hearing PR people prefixing their sentences with “Our customers tell us…”.

  • ralphg

    >Fortunatly we also have Autodesk >MyFeedback http://>myfeedback.autodesk.com which >allows almost all countries >participation in betaOr not. I signed up to be a beta tester, and did not get a response, not even a “No thanks.” Must be the overwhelming response from Canada…Honestly, I think all that feedback stuff is mostly BS, and tends to get ignored. Certainly, as an editor, I get tired of hearing PR people prefixing their sentences with “Our customers tell us…”.

  • Scott Sheppard

    I and a handful of other Autdoesk employees respond personally to each piece of feedback we receive. We do have day jobs ya know. Do I need 4000 emails to all tell me “our corporate firewalls can’t donwload an EXE” or will a few do? Obviously a few will do as we have changed our download from an EXE to a ZIP. I think you see my point. As feedback is ironed out from these two first two initial countries, we hope to expand the Autodesk Inventor LT Technology Preview to other parts of the globe. The world is indeed flat.

  • Scott Sheppard

    I and a handful of other Autdoesk employees respond personally to each piece of feedback we receive. We do have day jobs ya know. Do I need 4000 emails to all tell me “our corporate firewalls can’t donwload an EXE” or will a few do? Obviously a few will do as we have changed our download from an EXE to a ZIP. I think you see my point. As feedback is ironed out from these two first two initial countries, we hope to expand the Autodesk Inventor LT Technology Preview to other parts of the globe. The world is indeed flat.